On the 18th December 2019, the Scottish Government published a document entitled “Consultation on Planning Performance and Fees - 2019”.
In what is described as the biggest change to the structure of planning fees in over 25 years, Scottish Ministers are proposing a new approach to how the performance of planning authorities is measured, in the hope that applicants will see improvements to performance in return for having to pay more to obtain planning permission.
Fees, and in particular the maximum fee, were increased in 2017 but the consultation paper notes that some authorities have benefited much more than others from increased income as a result. As such, it now proposes increasing the maximum planning application fee from £125,000 to £150,000 in some circumstances, as well as the per unit fee.
Fee rises of between 20% and 50% for many types of planning application are proposed along with revisions to the charging structure. The consultation paper also seeks views on the introduction of charges for discretionary services such as pre-application discussions, enhanced project managed applications, increased fees (at planning authorities' discretion) for retrospective applications and waiving or reducing planning fees, as well as charging for the first time for appeals, and for listed building consent.
The consultation paper can be accessed here https://www.gov.scot/publications/planning-performance-fees-consultation/ and the closing date for submissions is 14 February 2020 with an expectation that the new planning application fee arrangements will be in place by mid 2020.
Planning Application Fees set to rise